BBC Festival showcases Arab art, culture, and journalism in London

The 4th edition of the BBC Arabic Festival will take place between 20 and 26 April 2018 at the BBC Radio Theatre. (Photo credit: BBC Arabic)
Updated 20 April 2018
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BBC Festival showcases Arab art, culture, and journalism in London

  • Fiction and non-fiction films reflecting current political and social situations in the Arab world will be screened at the festival.
  • The week-long festival will open on Friday, April 20.

LONDON: The fourth edition of the BBC Arabic Festival will take place between 20 and 26 April 2018 at the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Fiction and non-fiction films reflecting current political and social situations in the Arab world will be screened at the festival, and it will also feature talks, panel discussions and special events about journalism, broadcast and filmmaking in the region.
A new day-long Digital Journalism focus will feature at the festival for the first time, and there will also be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of BBC Arabic television.
The week-long festival will open on Friday, April 20, with a screening of award-winning short films exploring the refugee experience which include Mare Nostrum, a portrayal of a father’s decision to put his daughter’s life at risk, Fate, Wherever it Takes Us, a self-reflective, experimental film about a journey from Syrian minefields to asylum in Jordan, and clips from a new film by 2017 Young Journalist Award Winner Mohamed Jabaly (Dir. Ambulance), which follows six asylum seekers living in Tromso, Norway.
The closing awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 7.30pm (BST), and will be hosted by celebrated Korean/Vietnamese comedian Wonho Chung. Musical guest Lekhfa will also be performing live.


Twitter publishes tweet trove from ‘clumsy’ Iran regime campaigns

Updated 18 October 2018
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Twitter publishes tweet trove from ‘clumsy’ Iran regime campaigns

  • Twitter found 770 Twitter accounts that it traced back to Iran
  • Nearly 4,000 accounts affiliated with Russian troll farm

WASHINGTON: Twitter published a trove of some 10 million tweets that it said are potentially the product of state-backed operations by Russia and Iran, shedding new light on the scale and nature of misinformation campaigns mounted by the two nations.
Twitter said on Wednesday that it had identified 3,841 accounts affiliated with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm” that has been indicted by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller for attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
It found another 770 Twitter accounts that it traced back to Iran.
“We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world,” Twitter said in a statement on its “elections integrity” site.
In total, the exposed accounts shared more than 10 million tweets and 2 million images and videos, Twitter said, before being taken down.
Twitter had already made public the existence of tweets it believes to be the product of foreign misinformation campaigns, but the release of the tweets themselves on Wednesday will allow researchers to learn much more about Russia and Iran’s disinformation efforts on Twitter since 2016.
It comes less than one month before US Congressional elections which are already the subject of foreign-directed social media campaigns, according to senior US intelligence officials.
The release shows that both the Iranian and Russian operations started out as campaigns to support countries’ governments at home, but the Moscow-based effort expanded into an “offensive weapon” targeted at the United States, said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which has seen the tweets.
“The Iranian operation was clumsy. It tried to use social media to draw people toward pro-regime messaging sites,” said Nimmo, whose lab published a detailed analysis of the tweets on Wednesday.
“The Russian operation was much more skilled. It masqueraded as real Americans to turn real Americans against Hillary Clinton, and against each other,” Nimmo added, referring to Donald Trump’s presidential election challenger.